The morning began at the fairly-sane hour of 6:15, when Chris and I encouraged each other to get out of bed first. By 6:35, I was consuming coffee by the mega-swallow and randomly tossing items into the cases for the trunk.
At 8:15, we pulled out of the driveway, cranked up the music. Unusually for a Rowland road trip, there were no excursions planned until almost the end of our drive. This did not, however, stop me from taking countless pictures with my anniversary-present-camera. I also read the manual, perusing it closely enough to realize that the entire first page of instructions were written for a television set and not my digital camera.
We had a glorious day for traveling, despite forecasts of thundershowers. We only hit rain one time, and that lasted a few minutes at most. Our first major stop was for lunch in Nashville, Tennessee. Chris had planned an outing to Noshville, a New York-style delicatessen. I'm sure that faithful readers can guess the treasure awaiting us: Reuben sandwiches.
It was packed, as we hit at noon and churches across the city had just let out. This was the first time I had ever witnessed restaurant customers being asked to please vacate a booth when they had sat there for quite a while after finishing and paying their bill! But I could see the reason: any more backlog, and people would be waiting in the powder rooms.
Andy had an unfortunate incident involving precipitate ingestion of very hot cocoa. This has now gone down in legend as the Flaming Chocolate Incident. He does not have any wounds to show, so it was less exciting than it was a bit of a damper. He perked up when the Hebrew National hot dog arrived, though.
Chris had a Reuben (of course!) and I had a Rachael (in this case, a Reuben with pastrami instead of corned beef). Both sandwiches scored very highly (see the review
). I also enjoyed an egg cream. YUM!
The afternoon was full of more driving. We made it to Birmingham at about 4:00, and headed straight for Vulcan Park, home of the world's largest cast iron statue-of, of course, Vulcan. However, there was a big festival going on in the park, so we couldn't really get out. We were forced, therefore, to leave with only having snapped a few hasty portraits of...his hindquarters, which were less covered than you would expect for someone working around a hot anvil all day.
The scale replica of the statue of liberty, though, was quiet and afforded many opportunities for good pictures--including possibly the best jump I've ever seen Chris execute. It was award-winning!
Following these side tours, we made tracks to the Birmingham South Campground, where we were assigned cabin C3. We unloaded a few things and then went to dinner at the Santa Fe Cattle Company, as we had recently discovered that I have been suffering from steak deprivation for some time now. It was delicious!
The evening was ended with some frolicking in the pool and the fun attempt to type journal entries while simultaneously slapping five mosquitoes at once.